The MacGregor-Albert neighbourhood

The MacGregor-Albert neighbourhood is located on both sides of Albert Street, north of Bridgeport Road West and south of Seagram Drive.

 

When I’m in my office, working on real estate paperwork (there is a lot, a lot, of paperwork), I like to keep my new chat widget open. Visitors to my site come on and ask me questions and sometimes the initial connections made are good ones. The other day was a good one. I heard from Ashleigh. She is a big part of the MacGregor-Albert Community Association. She and I chatted about how great it is to live in UpTown Waterloo.

As fate would have it, just the evening before, I was strolling through the MacGregor-Albert Neighbourhood with the missus (and Chichi) and we were postulating on how the neighbourhood would be changing. It is ripe for gentrification. The pendulum swings. The neighbourhood, like mine, like the East Ward, like the Mary/Allen neighbourhood is being reclaimed by young families.

MacGregor-Albert is a lot like those other neighbourhoods but it has a couple of big, big differences too.

 

Waterloo Park   

Besides being just north of  Uptown Waterloo and all the shops and things to do, the McGregor-Albert neighbourhood runs along side the best and biggest park in Waterloo.

Waterloo Park, the “jewel of the city”, has 45 hectares (111 acres) of prime parkland, with a multitude of active and passive uses, such as:

Eby Farmstead

Grist Mill – a replica of the first grist mill built by Abraham Erb in 1816, a popular spot for weddings

Heritage elements – historic elements of the Park and its development, including Waterloo’s first schoolhouse

Lions Lagoon splash pad

Park Inn Concession

Picnic and event areas – plan your next birthday party, family reunion or just drop by at Waterloo Park

Playgrounds

Rental sports facilities – soccer and rugby pitches, baseball diamonds and a cricket pitch

Silver Lake

Skatepark

Special events – including Wonders of Winter and Music and Movies in the Park

Victorian gardens – award-winning flowerbeds, heritage perennials, a pergola and more

 

heritageHeritage Designation

Heritage designation scares some people, perhaps it’s because homeowners don’t like to give up total control of their own properties. Your home is your foothold, your foundation, your fortress and your base – it’s all about that bass. But neighbourhoods are more important than houses. One of my 365 Rules about Real Estate is “choose your neighbourhood first and your house second”. It’s white gold. That’s why I live in UpTown.

The MacGregor-Albert neighbourhood is Waterloo’s first heritage conservation district. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Waterloo and has a lot of architecturally and historically significant buildings.

Many things contribute to the neighbourhood’s distinctive character:

  • 19th century street plan that forms two deltas
  • Vistas and views into Waterloo Park (mentioned above)
  • Two institutional landmarks – the old Carnegie Library and Emmanuel United Church
  • Diverse range of high-quality houses dating back to the mid-19th century.

You can read more on heritage and homes here.

 

Walk score

From 100 Albert Street, about the centre of the neighbourhood, you will have a walkscore of the very walkable 83. Most errands can be accomplished on foot. You will also have a good transit score of 60. Nearby you will find restaurants like: the Huether Hotel, My-Thai Restaurant, Taco Farm and more than 30 others.

There are coffee shops including Starbucks and Death Valley’s Little Brother and a dozen more.

There is a grocery store. And Vincenzo’s is within walking distance too.

There are movie theatres, bars, and lots of retail shopping, including a Home Hardware store, a couple of book stores and lots of clothing boutiques.

 

Real estate information

It is not a very large neighbourhood so there is not a lot to report in terms of real estate activity.

There have been six homes sold over the past two years. There selling prices range from $290,000 to about $480,000. As seen in the heritage information, this neighbourhood has a wide range of house styles and sizes.

 

Schools

The schools that service the area are:

Elizabeth Ziegler jk-6

MacGregor 7-8

WCI 9-1

And in the Catholic board:

Our Lady of Lourdes jk-8

Resurrection

 

Community website

The chat conversation that lead to this blog post was initiated by this community website. It’s pretty good. They have events and other information for residents and future residents.

 

History

The Cord Community edition has a great story about the neighbourhood, discussing its early history, its fight to retain its neighbourhood feel as Waterloo grew and how the proximity to the universities has affected it in its recent history.

The neighbourhood is ripe for a resurgence. It’s heritage designation, it’s proximity to UpTown Waterloo and Waterloo Park and its gorgeous old houses make it a diamond in the rough.

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